During this time of the NBA season, there are very few notable names left on the open market. Most players have already been picked up by a team, while the remaining free agents are still hopeful for a call before the playoffs.
J.R. Smith is undoubtedly among the best candidates left, but the guard may have found a new home in the league at last. According to Bleacher Report, the Los Angeles Lakers will bring in Smith for a workout in the next few weeks.
It may not necessarily lead to a contract as the Lakers continue evaluating their options, but Smith will get an opportunity to show how much he has left in the tank. He has been a free agent since getting waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer. Smith had only played in 11 games during the 2018-19 NBA season, averaging 6.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 20.2 minutes per game.
Having requested a trade from the struggling Cavaliers, Smith was hoping to be shipped off to another contender. However, teams were hesitant to give up assets for Smith, which led to him sitting out the remainder of last season. Smith’s numbers have gone down across the board in recent years, but his three-point shooting and championship experience could be useful to many teams.
As a former teammate of LeBron James, it would make sense on paper for Smith to join the Lakers. The team is currently lacking in shooters after failing to make any changes before the trade deadline. Additionally, the guard rotation has been underwhelming throughout the year, leading the franchise to search for alternatives elsewhere.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Lakers have also expressed interest in Darren Collison, who may also receive a workout. He had announced his retirement from basketball in the summer of 2019, but he is already considering a return to the court.
Given his age and efficiency, Collison may be the preferred choice for the Lakers. He is coming off an impressive season for the Indiana Pacers in which he averaged 11.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 6 assists in 28.2 minutes per game.
There is a possibility that James ends up supporting the acquisition of Smith since they played together for four seasons. Smith has always been a streaky shooter, but the Lakers are in dire need of a scoring punch off the bench. Depending on how Smith’s workout plays out, it may end up being a low-risk, high-reward move.